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Remote working ‘becoming increasingly common’

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As technology capabilities are increasing, more companies are looking to take advantage of remote working, it has been claimed.

Speaking to CIO.com, Geoff Perlman, chief executive of REAL Software, said it is becoming “increasingly common” for businesses to employ people who do not come into the office.

“Remote employees are increasingly common in the IT field. It’s an adjustment that’s happening,” he stated.

Mr Perlman explained that the vast majority of employees at his own company now work from home, using online solutions to communicate and collaborate.

The use of shared documents and desktops, video conferencing and instant messaging means that workers can do the same job from home as in the office.

Providing they have good communication skills, are passionate about their work and are excited about the prospect of working home, this arrangement can suit both employee and employer, he suggested.

“Qualities that you typically look for when interviewing candidates need to be even stronger than a typical office person,” Mr Perlman stated.

“If they are a supervisor or manager and manage remote employees then they need to be able to read signals better because [they] won’t be able to use body language.”

The REAL Software chief said it is important for business leaders to think about ways they can keep their remote employees fully engaged.

“Setting the tone for your remote, collaborative team is vital,” he stated, noting that employers should develop an effective communication plan as a top priority.

Business leaders also need to ensure that out-of-office employees are performing to the required standard, Mr Perlman stated.

“Companies need to have metrics that show whether or not the employees are getting the job done,” he claimed.

If business leaders are able to put an effective remote working strategy in place, they should be able to use techniques such as hot desking to reduce their office costs.

This can help free up funds to be invested elsewhere in the enterprise, Mr Perlman noted.